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How To Be Newsworthy: Down and Dirty PR Tips for Entrepreneurs

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by David Garland in David's Blog

David’s Blog: The Rise To The Top Entrepreneur Blog
Entrepreneur Resources. Entrepreneur Education. Everything Entrepreneurship.
How To Be Newsworthy: Down and Dirty PR Tips for Entrepreneurs

Sometimes being on TWO sides of a coin is extremely interesting…especially if it is the public relations coin.

Side #1:
I get this question all of the time: “How can I get on the show?!” “Will you feature my company on The Rise To The Top?” “Hey, David you are my hero!” (just kidding on the last one…waiting for THAT email).

On the other side of the coin I get these questions: Side #2

You always seem to be getting into newspapers and magazines. How do you do that?” “How do I stay at the forefront of media sources?”

Very interesting. As someone who is pitched to and who pitches (I’m a two-way player…wait that sounded bad), I’ve quickly realized the wonderful and wacky world of public relations is often a source of endless frustration for entrepreneurs.

Well, I decided to ask some colleagues at major publications, TV shows, blogs, new and old media about the “pitching process” and I’ve compiled a list based on their answers and my experiences on how to get your lovely face and company some much-needed press time that will send your visibility and sales souring.

1. Set Goals and Keep Count: Before you even start the journey for press, make sure you have goals like in any other aspect of your business. I would recommend having a “Press Goals Sheet” labeled from 1-to-however-many-features-on-your-company-you-want. Mine up on my wall is labeled 1-100 because I’m hoping to make appearances in 100 different media outlets in one year (shoot high). Then when I get some press (good, bad, or ugly), I cross off the number like last week with The Jewish Light.

2. Be Ready: Being interviewed on TV/Radio or being featured in a print publication/popular blog can have a big effect. Are you ready to handle an increase in visibility? Will your website crash if too many visitors flood in? Do you have a new product/service that can be perfectly timed with your media appearance? Watch Scott Ginsberg (Episode #3) to see what I’m talking about. The only thing worse than NOT getting press is getting press and not knowing how to leverage it.

3. Don’t Forget The Little Guy:
While most people are out there contacting the big media sources of pleated pants people, don’t forget new media (blogs, podcasts, Web TV). Often times these sources have a VERY passionate following who is extremely targeted. Their audiences choose to view these sites actively because they are interested in the material and that could lead to even more love for you.

4. Not Newsworthy? You’re Boring:
Don’t just arbitrarily send out a press release every two weeks (or month, or day or hour) or just email news folks randomly to “keep an eye on you” because bad news, people are too busy. Make sure you have something great to report. For example, someone sent me an email yesterday that they just reached one million in sales in the down economy. I’m waiting until we get 500,000 viewers for our next release to go out about The Rise To The Top (note: we are VERY close!)

5. Be Concise: Ok, so it is pitch time. You have an interesting story to tell the world and here you go. You write a press release, shop it around to media, post it online, and you sit back……pause….and nothing happens. Yikes! First thing I would check is if you are concise. NEVER more than one page will be read. RARELY (in fact 80% of the time) will  more than one paragraph will be read. Keep it short, buzzworthy, and short (did I say that already?). I’ve already gouged my eye out today because of a three-page press release.

6. Get Personal: From experience, receiving a personal email about The Rise To The Top is much better than a randomly mass emailed press release; HOWEVER, interesting press releases that jump off the page DO get read. Search out news sources online as email addresses of editors are listed 9/10 times. Send a personal email.

7. Proofread: Yes, it is cliche. No, it isn’t a blog like this where you can get away with grammar murder. When pitching, proofread. It helps. Trust me.

8. Be Buzzworthy: Tie into hot news stories and you will have a better chance of swimming to the top of the media pile. Is your company beating the recession? Are you “the little guy” taking on “the man”?

9. Stay on it: Have you checked out my article on persistence? Contacting and following up with media can be a little bit excruciating BUT stay on it. If someone says they are going to interview you, awesome; however, people also forget so make sure to follow-up (without being annoying).

10. As Seen On: Make you leverage press that you DO get. Have an “As Seen On/In” page or “In The News/Media” on your website. Link articles and videos. Show the world that you ARE out there. Press leads to more press (chicken, egg, or PR?)

11. Give love to get love: Get out there and support the TV shows, blogs, radio shows, etc. that you hope to form a relationship with. They don’t call it Public RELATIONS for nothing. You are forming relationships with people and businesses. Leave them some love on their blog, Facebook, etc. and good things will happen. Or at least you will be one up in the karma game!

Now get out there and get some press and maybe even try pitching me here on the blog It will be good practice and I promise to respond to EACH pitch personally.

Off to Orlando….

Live Passionately! – David Siteman Garland – The Creative Opportunities Specialist and Entrepreneurial Chameleon –

Two more things:
1.  I’m giving away a minute of The Rise To The Top each month to feature YOU to pitch your entrepreneurial idea or talk about your current company. All you have to do is use one of these methods to be automatically entered:
-Follow The Rise To The Top on Twitter
-Join our Facebook Fan Page
-Leave a comment on TRTTT episode by clicking “Watch Now” and leave a comment.
-Leave a comment on David’s Blog
Remember, for every 500 people one more gets selected so tell your friends to sign up. Hey, if they win, tell them they have to give the minute to you 🙂

2. We have all kinds of new Watch Now and Segment features
up on
Make sure to check it out and tell us what you think, how we can improve, or just say hi.

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